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PRESS STATEMENT Auckland, New Zealand September 8, 2000

Representatives from the 16-member South Pacific Forum have ended a two-day workshop in Auckland, New Zealand on ways to combat financial crime and money laundering in the region.

The workshop, hosted by New Zealand, considered current developments in financial crime in the region, including the increasing sophistication of such crime.

Representatives from the United States, New Zealand and Australia discussed the structure of their domestic financial intelligence units (FIU's). Representatives from the Cook Islands, Samoa and Vanuatu also shared their experience in enacting anti-money laundering legislation and in establishing FIU's.

Participants agreed that there was a need to strengthen domestic processes for information gathering and to combat money laundering and fraud. They also discussed ways to cooperate more closely to share information, and to use technology effectively to counter transnational crime.

There was consensus at the workshop that the establishment of domestic FIU's would help to meet these objectives. Participants discussed the need for model legislation to establish FIU's, drawing on the examples of legislation now in place in the Cook Islands, Samoa and Vanuatu.

Mechanisms for regional financial information sharing will be taken up when Forum Leaders meet in Kiribati next month.

All Forum members were represented at the workshop. Representatives from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), Forum Secretariat, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre (PFTAC) and the United Nations (UN) were also present, along with officials from Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

For additional information, contact: Ulafala Aiavao at 

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